Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Training (Lately)

My training has almost always consisted of, relatively, very few exercises. I've never been one to go to the gym and do five to 10 exercises. I've always been partial to training sessions like squats, followed by... more squats, or presses followed by... you guessed it, more presses. I like many different exercises mind you, but, for better or for worse, I can't multi-task in the gym.

Here's what I've been doing so far this year in my training:

*kettlebell snatches (one arm)
*kettlebell jerks (one & two arm)

...and THAT'S IT. Once in a while, I'll do kettlebell swings, Turkish get-ups, kettlebell clean & jerks, and (snatch-grip) Romanian deadlifts, but you'd have to look closely to find them in my training logs.

Before this year, I had to clearly divide my training into kettlebell work at home, and other work at the gym - I no longer have to split my training that way because we have moved into a larger home and I now have a squat rack and pull-up bar in the basement. This frees up the Squats/Pull-Ups/KB Snatch/KB Jerks Template I posted in December to be a little more flexible in terms of exercise order/combinations.

Results? Good. My squat strength and flexibility is returning after a long layoff and my kettlebell snatch and jerk numbers are decent. Conditioning is as good as it has been in years and I'm training 4-7x/week. Most importantly, I feel good and (aside from occasional aches and pains) I am injury free.

Nothing outstanding, but here's a video of yesterday's training session which consisted of:

Kettlebell Snatch: 53lbs x 3:30/hand
Squat: 135 x 10, 205 x 6, 255 x 6, 275 x 6

A short and sweet training session. Look for the kettlebell launch at about 7:00 in...


MKSchinabeck said...

Nice set. Lucky you didn't take out your camera. Your snatch looks like a GS/Hardstyle hybrid. I think if you started to incorporate the double knee bend you would see an increase in your numbers. The double bend makes you more efficient and allows you to keep the bell closer to your body during the ascent. The closer the bell is to your body, the less grip strength you waste. Check out my snatch video from the arnold on my blog:
Compare my double knee bend to your lack of double knee bend. I think this change will make a significant difference.


Boris said...

I've actually tried that Matt and I don't know if it's something that I would grow accustomed to. I've had numerous lower back issues in the past and the double knee bend just seems to put a lot of strain on my lumbar from the (temporarily) straightened leg position. Perhaps it's my "troll" build (short arms, long torso) - perhaps not. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

MKSchinabeck said...

When you look at the technique of various international caliber GS athletes you will see many different variants. Some seem to round their back during the back swing, which seems dangerous to me. I try to keep my back straight, as in the hardstyle snatch, but just add the double knee bend. However, I have not had any back troubles in my past medical history.

Boris said...

Thanks for the quick response! I've watched just about every GS video there is on YouTube, did a lot of observing at the meet in July and then, of course, working w. Catherine I. and Doug Sides - I agree about the variation in technique.

Not to compare myself with Fuglev at all, but he also has a pretty long torso (without my t-rex arms) and no double knee bend.

Again, I'm being sincere when I say I don't know if I would benefit or not from double-knee bend. I'm perfectly willing to reconstruct my snatch if that's what it takes however.

MKSchinabeck said...

I think the bottom line is you tinker and play and ultimately pick the style that works the best for you. After many, many, many reps you begin to develop your own style.

Boris said...

Agreed. Thanks Matt.

Franklin said...


Do you find carry over from the squats to GS? Are they a standard part of GS assistance lifts?

To an untrained GS eye like myself, your snatch form looks quite fluid and natural.

Boris said...

Hi Franklin,

I couldn't really answer that question. I don't think GS athletes spend a lot of time doing full range of motion squats. It's a personal thing for me - I always feel better when my squat strength and flexibility is acceptable.